The Los Angeles Lakers are up against a wall heading into their Monday night elimination game in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder -- that's what happens to a team when it lets late leads slip away against a team as talented as Kevin Durant's Thunder. But is all hope lost for L.A.?
SB Nation's Ben Golliver looks at the series so far and tonight's potentially decisive game in his preview for SB Nation's YouTube channel.
Golliver notes that the Lakers haven't been far from the Thunder in the last three games of the series -- it's Oklahoma City 276, Los Angeles 274 in the last 12 quarters of play -- and that eight teams in NBA history have come back from 3-1 deficits to win series.
But Golliver also credits OKC's late-game execution for the Thunder's success in coming back. While Durant is hitting game-winners on clean looks thanks to his tremendous length, the Lakers' model of "force-feeding" Kobe Bryant, one that prompted SB Nation's Tom Ziller to propose trading Andrew Bynum to save him from Kobe, is not working out so well, he says.